Purses with a Purpose: Michigan State Police collecting purses, comfort items for sexual assault survivors

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month

Purses with a Purpose event. (Michigan State Police)

Michigan State Police (MSP) is collecting purses and comfort items for sexual assault survivors for Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

Several MSP posts throughout Michigan are participating in the agency’s third annual Purses with a Purpose collection event to benefit survivors of sexual assault as April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

MSP collects new and gently used purses and bags filled with items such as toiletries, socks, feminine hygiene products, washcloths, gift cards, snacks, stuffed animals for children, candy, charging cords and more.

These purses and bags filled with items will be donated to groups and organizations and then passed out to survivors.

Trooper Andrea Tillman and Trooper Cabria Shirley of the Cadillac Post pushed for the initiative to go statewide and in 2021 they collected over 6,000 purses.

“This was our committee’s first ‘big’ project,” Trooper Shirley said. “Like the original initiative, it was super successful with more than 6,000 purses, and countless comfort items, collected during the monthlong donation drive.”

Donations to the Metro South and Metro North posts benefit HAVEN, Turning Point and Vista Maria.

“In our line of work, we see people leaving horrible situations all the time, and sometimes they can’t even grab necessities like a toothbrush or clean socks,” Trooper Tillman said.

The participating Michigan State Police posts will be accepting donations throughout the entire month of April. Collection boxes are located inside participating posts’ lobbies.

Last year, over 3,800 filled purses and bags were collected.

Here is the list of posts participating in this year’s Purses with a Purpose:

  • Metro North and Metro South
    • MSP Metro North Post14350 W. Ten Mile Rd.Oak Park, MI 48237
    • MSP Metro South12111 Telegraph Rd.Taylor, MI 48180
  • Sault Ste. Marie
    • 3900 I-75 Business Spur, Sault Ste. Marie, MI 49783. The post hours are M-F from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Marquette
    • 1310 S. Front St., Marquette, MI 49855
  • Lakeview
    • 10300 Howard City-Edmore Road, Lakeview, MI 48850
  • Iron Mountain
    • 1916 N. Stephenson Ave Iron Mountain, MI 49801
  • Alpena
    • 3283 W. Washington Ave., Alpena, MI 49707
  • Monroe
    • 300 Jones Ave. Monroe, MI 48161